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Queens Chronicle

Fighting for health

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Posted: Thursday, November 14, 2013 10:30 am

Dear Editor:

I would like to comment on last week’s article “Teaching kids to fight for a healthy lifestyle” (multiple editions).

I was immediately drawn to the title, and for different reasons than what the crux of the article was about. I am in the middle of a world of enlarging proportions; in the health field, everyone is getting bigger. Unfortunately, even the kids.

It seems modern America is set up in a way that kids are destined to become fat, and that they must “fight for a healthy lifestyle,” indeed; otherwise, they have nowhere to go but inevitably towards obesity.

The article was about a Forest Hills boxing club that visited an elementary school, trying to “promote good health and fun exercise alternatives.” I’ve heard both sides of the argument of promoting boxing and other fighting sports to young kids as a healthy form of fitness, and that topic alone could take up a whole editorial itself. My point is, these guys were trying. In the modern day of laziness and ultra-convenience items, this club is trying to be active, reaching out to our youth. They can see that you must fight, figuratively, I guess literally, to avoid the fat epidemic.

This article couldn’t be more timely: national Childhood Obesity Awareness Month was two months ago, the “Obesity Summit” was last month and this month I am receiving an invitation to “Obesity Week 2013,” another conference dedicated to the subject. It seems there are meetings everywhere, every month, trying to battle obesity.

Furthermore, I am a member of the American College of Sports Medicine, and I get emails from them all the time. They are committed to convincing the world that exercise itself is medicine, and it may be the key factor in making a dent in the soaring rates of chronic diseases in America. As a father of two little ones, I am already seeing the barrage of advertising and influencing factors that tell our kids that it is okay to be lazy and have everything done by computer. Here in Astoria, I have seen an increase in fitness studios and exercise centers in the last 13 years, but I don’t see enough youth, teenagers and those in their 20s attending classes.

Please, at this point it doesn’t really matter what form of exercise kids do, whether boxing or other, let’s at least encourage them to do something!

Dr. Ken Vitale

Welcome to the discussion.